Many contractors and other construction professionals are unaware of precisely what the New York State Lien Law provides regarding the types of services for which a mechanic%u2019s lien may be filed. Of course, contractors who perform labor or furnish materials for the improvement of a property are afforded the right to file a lien for any unpaid balances due for such labor or materials.
A cardinal change is defined as a significant deviation in the scope of work such that the essential purpose of the contract is altered. Additionally, where a change meets the description above, it is generally considered a breach of contract by the Owner. However, evaluating whether a modification to the scope of the work constitutes a cardinal change is decided on a case by case factual basis. Further complicating the issue is that states differ in their analyses. Below I analyze the cardinal change doctrine in New York and Connecticut to determine how this rule is applied.
In previous columns, we have written about contracts where the parties have reduced the applicable statute of limitations from the generally applicable six years to as little as six months. The issue with such contracts is that they are often written so that the limitations period runs before the claim accrues%u2014which will result in a court invalidating the provision entirely. However, not every construction contract has such a provision.
As we prepare for a return to the workplace reducing health risk is of primary concern. One of the questions we've been receiving is can an employer test employees for COVID-19? Prior to the pandemic this was a much simpler question. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ('EEOC') provided some guidance in this area in light of the ongoing pandemic.